Latest News

Friday, 27th March 2009
In General Japan News,

Japan to allow nationals to marry same-sex partners overseas

Japan's justice ministry is to allow citizens to marry same-sex partners in countries where the ceremonies are legal, it has been confirmed.

Kyodo News reports that the ministry will begin issuing the necessary marriage certificates to foreigners and Japanese citizens.

Currently, all Japanese nationals and their impending spouses must obtain the documents before marrying.

Taiga Ishikawa, a member of the gay support organisation Peer Friends, commented: "We were not able to get [the ministry] to forgo the clarification of sexuality. But I want to hail the Justice Ministry's decision as a step forward [for gays]."

Same-sex marriage is legal in many countries including the UK, Canada, Spain, Belgium, South Africa and certain US states.

New Hampshire recently became the third US state to allow gay couples to get married.

The state's legislative body narrowly voted in favour of the move by 186-179.

Written by Mike Cotgreave